Long Range Planning

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0024-6301
Publications
Article
Bridgestone of Japan acquired Firestone, a United States corporation, in early 1988. This article describes the integration process of the two organizations' cultures. There are many lessons in the approach that should apply to a variety of organizations. The Strategic Improvement Process, a rather highly structured approach, harnesses the strengths of both the Japanese and American organizations and starts the manufacturing and technical departments on the road to excellence.
 
Article
American firms want 'total quality'. The time and money spent by U.S. companies attempting to qualify for the coveted Baldrige Award exemplifies corporate America's desire to achieve new quality standards. Corporate intelligence and 'total quality' are inextricably linked. In this article, the authors demonstrate how shared and properly-used information can be a powerful tool for elevating quality standards, and how corporate intelligence programmes can provide the information links vital for success in attaining the highest standards of quality.
 
Article
One of the major problems facing senior executives is that of effecting significant strategic change in their organizations. This paper develops a number of explanatory frameworks which address the links between the development of strategy in organizations, dimensions of corporate culture and managerial action. In considering such linkages, and by illustrating them with examples from work undertaken in companies, the paper also seeks to advance our understanding of the problems and means of managing strategic change.
 
Article
AIDS is a contemporary phenomena that has been extensively covered by the media but its impact on the employers of the sufferers is only now being measured and assessed. This article describes the personnel policies that have been developed by one particular organization to deal with the problem. Educational and training programmes have been initiated and management given clear directives to ensure that high morale and productivity are maintained during potentially adverse situations.
 
Article
This article examines the potential of the use of cost benefit analysis in evaluating the performance of public libraries. The author describes an application in an Australian setting.
 
Article
Needs assessment is an integral part of most comprehensive planning procedures. The needs assessment strategy presented in this article is appropriate for use when the problems and needs of social systems are to be considered. It is based on the logic of systems theory and especially on the concept of open systems and system networks.
 
Article
This paper describes the service sector revolution in the United States and covers the automation of 10 U.S. service industries. It discusses the implications of the simultaneous automation of goods and services and suggests action required to smooth the transition for the worker as the United States becomes an automated society.
 
Article
Strategic planning activities can, to varying degrees be anticipatory or hindsight in orientation. Anticipatory activities prepare the firm for future strategic surprises and enhance the firm's effectiveness in dealing with turbulence and unpredictability in the external environment. Hindsight activities on the other hand, rely greatly on ex-post analysis (of information on past events), emphasize efficiency in key processes and operations, and are predicated on reasonable continuity and stability in the external environment. While both sets of activities are necessary to maintain the balance between effectiveness and efficiency, a relatively greater emphasis on one set or the other is crucial under different degrees of environmental turbulence and unpredictability. Informed implementation of the appropriate degrees of anticipatory and hindsight orientations through differentially emphasizing separate sets of strategic planning activities should enable managers to exercise better strategic control and optimize the firm's short-run performance as well as long-term prospects.
 
Article
A solution for preserving red blood cells (adenine) will make it possible to extend the life of blood from 21 to 35 days. Adenine supplementation may bring dramatic changes in blood outdating and the supply of blood to hospital blood banks. Substantial improvements, however, can be realized only if blood administrators are able to estimate the potential effects of adenine supplementation and set goals based on these projections. Appropriate action could then be taken to reduce blood collection and increase the supply of blood to hospitals. This paper offers a method for blood administrators to estimate the full effects of adenine supplementation and set reasonably attainable goals. Experiences with setting goals for a mid-western U.S. blood region are then discussed.
 
Article
Although the planning operation is regarded by some observers as unrealistic in conditions of rapid change and increasing competition, the discipline of strategic thinking and the need for strategic leadership continue to be of vital importance. The author examines the purpose of the Board of Directors and its role in the management of strategy.
 
Article
Corporate governance and the role of boards is a topic hotly debated in boardrooms, associations and media across the industrialized world. However intense, discussions are largely national phenomena due to the widespread belief that boards cannot be compared on an international plane. The authors argue the contrary: that there is a great deal to be learned from such comparisons because boards in different countries are more similar than they are different. Insights are drawn from a four-year study the authors have conducted involving boards from eight countries. The full results have been published earlier this year by Oxford University Press, as The Corporate Board; Confronting the Paradoxes.
 
Article
For a long time, boards of directors have been considered weak, incapable of contributing to the financial success of their companies. This article proposes a way to revitalize boards by involving them in mapping corporate strategic directions. Building on recent changes in boardroom practices, it outlines eight conditions for an effective strategic contribution by boards and specifies areas of potential for an effective strategic contribution by boards and specifies areas of potential interest to directors. Taken together, these suggestions are expected to ensure continuous and disciplined contribution by boards to strategy and, ultimately, to effective corporate performance.
 
Article
Jane Carmichael's views on Managing Inputs provide a further interesting contribution on a topic, strategic control, that we have covered on several occasions in this column. Carmichael's approach is to dig back behind the results being achieved to the 'inputs' on which they depend. But, while this may unearth causes of performance that can often be missed by a bottom-line orientation, results must ultimately remain vital; a business that is on track with all its input measures, but is missing its output goal is still in trouble. We continue to be interested in hearing from readers with views on strategic control processes, particularly those who have found productive ways of setting input and output targets.
 
Article
Conventional capital budgeting systems do not fully reflect or adequately respond to the way in which capital expenditure decisions are actually made. Evidence also exists that the nature of this decision process is dependent on the type of the organization. This paper describes an empirically developed understanding of how capital expenditure decisions are being made, identifies ways to support and improve these decisions, and proposes an approach to linking the design of capital budgeting systems with the type of organization in which they are to operate.
 
Article
Much of the strategic preoccupation of senior managers in the 1990s is focusing on the creation of customer value. Companies are seeking competitive advantage by streamlining the three processes through which they interact with their customers: product creation, order handling and service assurance. 'Micro-strategy' is a term which has been coined for the trade-offs and decisions on where and how to streamline these three processes. The article discusses micro-strategies applied by successful companies.
 
Article
This article explains the conceptual foundations for the piggybacking strategy from the general strategic management, adoption of innovation, product life cycle, specialization and diversified portfolio strategy literatures. The strategic piggybacking strategy is compared and contrasted with the diversified portfolio and specialization strategies. Intention, dynamic investment flow, short vs long term, and mission similarities and differences are addressed. A case is made for considering strategic piggybacking as a synthesis of the specialization and diversified portfolio strategies. The conditions appropriate for adoption of a piggybacking strategy are also discussed.
 
Article
Creating an adequate supply of the requisite skills and competitive capabilities is a fundamental objective of strategy. Managing this process in an effective and systematic manner is difficult. Employing the strategic staircase is a proven way of overcoming this difficulty. The framework enables managers to break the strategic agenda into bit-sized pieces, it guides the selection of priorities and provides a powerful device for communicating strategy throughout the organization, thereby bridging the gap between strategy and action.
 
Article
S-curves are widely used for planning, forecasting and control of cost, time and resources of a project. In this paper, a comparison of two S-curve models developed at the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) and Bradford University is carried out both from the viewpoint of predictive accuracy and ease of use. The models are validated using expenditure data for 21 recent U.K. health building projects. Methods of least squares is used to estimate the parameters of the two models. These parameters are categorized according to the total cost of the projects. Both the models are shown to be of comparable accuracy for fitting actual expenditure data. The DHSS model has a major advantage of simplicity of form and use, although the slightly greater mathematical complexity of the Keller-Singh model is off-set by the readily interpretable nature of its form and basic parameters. It is concluded that both or either of the models could be used by clients/contractors for effective planning and control of project costs.
 
Article
When an industry reaches a turning point, everyone in it is drawn into the turmoil. Not that it happens frequently, but most industries pass more than one major turning point in the course of an executive career of average length. The experience is unsettling--especially if preceded by a general reluctance to anticipate it or its consequences. Corporate strategy is usually concerned above all with the competitive positioning of a company within an industry or, if diversified, in a number of industries. To this two-dimensional picture, which takes the company and its competitors as the main variables, we need to add the changing background of the industry itself: a third dimension that challenges the powers of adaptation of all the competitors. It compels them to acknowledge as real the forces that are unleashed by time as industries mature and society changes. This paper explores the turning points that have occurred during the past 30 years in one particular industry--pharmaceuticals--and seeks to distil from it a number of lessons that may be relevant to industrial strategy in a wider framework.
 
Article
Planning in health care organizations is of considerable current interest in this country. Furthermore, effective planning processes require, as a necessary condition for that effectiveness, development within a framework which considers the organizational, managerial and service delivery environment.This paper examines the concept of planning in relation to health care organizations. Through an examination of the effects which proper planning can have upon industrial organizations the authors analyze the possible impacts of planning procedures upon health care institutions. Their analysis leads to certain tentative conclusions as to appropriate organizational structure which could support effective planning. Whilst the authors have yet to test their hypothesis the conclusion they draw from their initial analysis are worthy of further investigation.
 
Article
This article presents a managerial perspective on health planning by the Federal Government illustrated by the case of the Swine Flu Immunization Program. The recent national program in the U.S.A. for immunizing the entire population against the swine flu is examined in terms of the processes of health planning. It is concluded that this program was poorly planned and therefore doomed to failure from the beginning. Recommendations for improved planning of similar programs are made.
 
Article
There is no substitute for human blood and the demand for blood to use in modern surgical procedures in increasing significantly faster than the population. Numerous management science reseachers have recognized the need to improve the management of the blood resource. This paper is the first effort directed towards annual planning of the operation of a regional blood system. One main point of the paper is that no matter how well inventory is controlled on a day to day basis, the blood administrator must have an annual plan to attain the goals of a blood service organization. The model formulated in this study can help a regional blood administrator determine the magnitude of the blood collection effort and the size of the regional blood inventory. The decision method developed is based on multiple objective techniques and is especially relevant to health car delivery problems. An example of the procedure is then applied to a large urban-rural blood region located in the eastern United States.
 
Article
This study of 108 corporations is intended to identify and validate those strategic control factors that contribute directly to the success of strategic decisions made at the level of the CEO which are subsequently implemented throughout the organization. In direct response to a comprehensive questionnaire, 61 CEOs rated nine strategic control factors. Only the ratings of CEOs were accepted and processed in this study. Their ratings revealed areas of obvious strength and correctable weakness in their perceptions of strategic control within their respective organizations. These ratings tended to validate a conceptual process model of strategic control.
 
Article
Businesses are under pressure to adopt environmental policies and incorporate them into their strategic business planning as a matter of routine. These pressures are coming from at least five sources--stricter legislation, consumer demand, competitive advantage, staff concerns and community pressure. The challenge is enormous but there is growing evidence that sound environmental management provides pay-off in bottom line results. Business organizations have a vital role to play and its good for them. There are opportunities for new business as well as threats to those organizations which continue to ignore the trends.
 
Article
Strategic information systems planning (SISP) is the process of deciding the objectives of computing for an organization and then identifying the applications that the organization should computerize. SISP has become increasingly important as information systems have begun to play a more critical role in implementing business strategies. However, SISP is beset with problems that hinder organizations from determining their computing objectives and applications. This article identifies the impediments to SISP and offers some constructive actions for business planners to take to increase their chances of success. It also suggests that planners may face greater difficulties implementing their information systems plans than in initially creating them.
 
Article
Failure to see strategic planning as a process and ineffective CEO involvement are two reasons for failures in strategic planning. This article outlines the stages in an effective strategic planning process, discusses the appropriate role or roles for the CEO or leader in each stage, and defines the expected results from effective strategic planning.
 
Article
The concept of 'strategic options' has become firmly established in recent years--this regards choices such as 'organic growth', acquisition, merger, and so on. This paper explores one such route forward, the option of joint-ventures. The examination is undertaken within a framework that considers market structures and the pressures for change. Initial sections introduce a form of analysis based upon the work of Michael Porter. This is used to suggest how and why joint-ventures and other alliances are attractive. Later discussion considers some of the practical considerations when setting-up a joint-venture.
 
Article
This article conducts a thorough review of the extensive literature on executive leadership. It provides a definition for the concept of superior executive leadership and then presents a model explaining the key roles and attributes required to perform effectively in top management ranks. The article then discusses the implications of this model for senior executives and describes how it can be used to assess the quality of executive performance.
 
Article
This article provides a review of some of the work done in the area of knowledge-based systems for strategic planning. Since 1985, with the founding of the Center for Knowledge-based Systems for Business Management, the project has focused on developing knowledge-based systems (KBS) based on these models. In addition, the project also involves developing a variety of computer and non-computer methods and techniques for assisting both technical and non-technical managers and individuals to do decision modelling and KBS development. This paper presents a summary of one segment of the project: a description of integrative groupware useful in strategic planning. The work described here is part of an ongoing research project. As part of this project, for example, over 200 non-technical and technical business managers, most of them working full-time during the project, developed over 160 KBS prototype systems in conjunction with MBA course in strategic planning and management decision making. Based on replies to a survey of this test group, 28 per cent of the survey respondents reported their KBS were used at work, 21 per cent reportedly received promotions, pay rises or new jobs based on their KBS development work, and 12 per cent reported their work led to participation in other KBS development projects at work. All but two of the survey respondents reported that their work on the KBS development project led to a substantial increase in their job knowledge or performance.
 
Article
Major companies devote considerable effort to communicating corporate visions and missions. Yet three recent surveys suggest that much of this effort has been counter-productive. A gap has emerged between rhetoric and reality. Arenas of confrontation have arisen between directors and managers, head offices and business units, holding companies and their subsidiaries, and between specialists and generalists. A widespread desire for corporate transformation is not matched by understanding of how to bring it about. The lack of top management commitment and of communication skills are major barriers to change. More competent directors and more effective boards are needed. The article suggests key roles for the chairman and the chief executive. It examines how best to share a compelling vision, and identifies a requirement for new attitudes and approaches to communication.
 
Article
Legislation is required now in order to get proper controls on personal information and confidentiality in the near future when the need for it, particularly in relation to the development of third generation computers, will be more clearly perceived in Britain than it is at the moment. If action is taken now, PINCO controls can be introduced more cheaply and efficiently than will be the case if urgent action has to be taken later.
 
Article
This article investigates the reasons for the increasing use of the Company Mission Statement. Using information from a survey of U.K. companies in 1989 it looks at the types of statements issued by companies, their content, usage, and value to managers. Of particular interest is whether the mission is primarily used for the motivation of staff, or for external image building. Related issues are the value of the mission drafting process in bringing managers together to agree common objectives and the use of a hierarchy of statements to reconcile internal and external stakeholders' interests. The conclusion is that the Mission, which includes a statement of company values, is an important tool for managers to assert their leadership within the organization.
 
Article
Shareholders, customers, suppliers, lenders, the community, government and regulatory agencies and employees--the stakeholders in an organization--are the ones entitled to anticipate the satisfaction of societal demands placed on the organization. Strategic planning has to take these into account in order to be able to plan how the demands can be met. Therefore, the stakeholders as such must be identified and placed in an order of priority. There are those without whom the organization could not exist and those who have a judicial position in relationships to the organization. It then becomes important to establish the criteria by which each will judge the organization's effectiveness. One way is to approach the stakeholder directly. Another is to use a deductive approach based on a literature survey or polling representatives. In practice a combination can be used. If this is done then the crucial effectiveness criteria for each stakeholder group can be identified. It is important, of course, to realize that not only can these criteria change, but also the determinants of stakeholder power can vary. They depend on what resources each group possesses, whether there are alternative stakeholders, what authority and influence is held. In turn the effectiveness will be influenced by the pressures brought to bear on the power of the stakeholder. These can progress from societal pressures to political issues to legislated requirement and, finally, to punitive action. Another way of regarding them is as moving from strategic to emerging to current. An appreciation of this will help environmental scanning.
 
Article
Environmental scanning is a new activity among corporations, because of its importance, corporations need to progress by stages to achieve a structured and formal system of scanning, and this takes time. This paper is based on a study examining the evolution and state of environmental scanning among corporations, and finds that the essential difference between scanning at the corporate and at the product/market level is not observed by all companies. Ideally, there should be a close liaison between the two levels so that each may reinforce the scanning effort of the other.
 
Article
Mission is still a relatively neglected area of management, and there is no clear agreement on what it encompasses. The Ashridge Strategic Management Centre conducted a 2-year research project designed to fill this gap. The research found that if mission is more clearly defined it can be managed better, and developed a model of mission that includes four elements--purpose, strategy, behaviour standards and values. The project identified companies where, in addition to strong links between these elements, employees also showed an emotional commitment to their company which Campbell has called a 'sense of mission'. This commitment was deepest when there was a match between the employee's values and the company's values.
 
Article
This article is derived from a study the authors conducted during 1978–1979 to determine the extent of shared services participation by a group of metropolitan hospitals, the problems that occurred, and the recommendations that appeared realistic. It appeared from a survey of the literature that most writers on shared services had merely introduced the concept and some of its possible applications. Little had been done to study the actual incorporation of shared services into the management structure of the organization. This study is an attempt to look closer at the real, long-term acceptance of the idea by hospital administrators and to provide a clearer picture of the way in which shared services are being used or misused.
 
Article
Considerable interest is currently being shown in the use of information technology to assist in improving group process, particularly those associated with strategic planning. Three major approaches are developing to provide this support, and these are described in this article. In general, articles about Group DSS are overwhelmingly favourable to the approaches, although research findings suggest that some forms of Group DSS can have deleterious effects on the quality of meetings. These research findings are discussed.
 
Article
Chief Executive Officers have recently stated that their greatest staffing challenge for the 1990s is the development of strategic leadership in their senior management. In order to do this, it is necessary to identify the substance of strategic thinking, and the capabilities that must be mastered. Writers on strategy have identified six major elements of strategic thinking and these have been organized to reveal the tasks, questions, decisions, and skills that senior executives must acquire in order to lead their organizations strategically. Finally, the article identifies training programme elements which are used by Directors of Manpower Development to develop strategic leadership ability.
 
Article
This article describes a case history of strategic planning, learning and change within a major division of Dowty plc. At Dowty CASE, a telecommunications company, the management team used strategic planning as a structured learning process to generate strategic change. There are many lessons which academics and practitioners alike can learn from this case of strategic planning and change in action.
 
Article
Many authorities have urged companies to set up environmental scanning to assist corporate planning. Some advocates have recommended a unit at corporate level. This would give breadth of view and penetration into the future. It would arm decision makers with accurate forecasts. The information would be broad in scope and future directed. It could provide also assumptions for long-range planning. The Fahey and King study produced a model of corporate scanning types. The data showed that environmental information was built into the plan. Though the political environment was important, scanning was inadequate. The best location for scanning was not at corporate level and most firms used irregular methods. The Thomas study concluded that effective environmental scanning was permanent and multi level and that 'best practice' was continuous scanning. In 1978 the sample organizations were revisited. Five of the twelve have not changed their practice. The factors which encouraged a continuous model were the attitudes of academics and business media, demonstrated success of the units, the right kind of personnel. Contrary influences were changes in top management, decentralization moves, resource cuts, defining the environment and its significance, the availability of scanning competent personnel, surprise itself, and the availability of alternatives e.g. external forecasts.
 
Article
This article describes the development of a process of systematic regional environmental scanning as part of strategic planning in the Ministry of Social Services (MSS) in British Columbia, over the 1987-1990 period. Social Services, a large regionalized social service organization, adopted a formal strategic planning process in early 1988. Ministry services are delivered in ten regions with widely varying characteristics. To ensure that this diversity is reflected in the planning process, it is essential that regional environmental information receive consideration. A simple format was developed and regional directors asked to consult with their staff and to scan their regions for issues that may impact the ministry over the medium term. The information obtained was presented by regional directors at a Senior Management Committee meeting and included in the ministry's annual Business Plan, a document which informs staff, contractors, stakeholders, and the community at large of the ministry's values, objectives, and operational goals. The inclusion of regional analyses adds useful information to the Plan. A second output of the planning process is the ministry budget. The systematic regional scans were found to be extremely useful to regional staff, other directors, and to the ministry executives while setting priorities.
 
Article
With the increasing rapidly and complexity of administrative actions, there is a need for more “proactive management”. Long-Range Strategic Planning (LRSP) is a recent management tool which offers opportunities for more effective and efficient operations. If top-level administrators are to be more than crisis-oriented, they will need to become long-range planners. This article describes what LRSP is, why it might be needed, and lastly suggests a model for developing and implementing such plans. LRSP can be a basic administrative tool in having continued effectiveness in many organizations.
 
Article
Is Corporate Planning a failure or a success? In this article David Hussey assesses the research which has been done on the planning process and concludes that Corporate Planning obviously has the potential to improve business performance but for many reasons this potential has not been realized. He then examines the attempts which are currently being made to persuade managers to 'think strategically', to use portfolio analysis scenarios and other techniques of strategic analysis. He asserts that to succeed, the planner or the consultant in planning must use these and other analytical approaches to help managers 'to change the perceptual boundaries of the strategic problem' and generate strategies and action programmes which will enable them to compete successfully in world markets.
 
Article
Corporate planning models frequently consist of integrated pro forma income statements, statements of financial position, and cashflow statements. When implemented by utilizing computer-based planning systems, these models allow managers to explore potential decisions in 'what if?' planning analyses. The logic of an integrated financial statement planning model can be arranged following either a 'funds needed to balance approach' or a 'direct approach'. With a funds needed to balance approach total assets are set equal to total liabilities plus equities to satisfy this fundamental accounting identity. Logic in such models is often difficult to validate. In the direct approach, total assets are calculated independently of total liabilities plus equities providing an extremely strong test for model validation prior to using the model to assess 'what if' alternatives. In this paper, the author discusses the logic of integrated financial planning models and their implementation with computer-based planning systems. The funds need to balance approach and the direct approach are described and contrasted to assist corporate planners in evaluating and selecting a method for constructing the logic of corporate planning models.
 
Article
This is a study of the role of long-range planning and strategic management in 400 hospitals in the United States. It examines not only the structural aspects of planning but also investigates how the data base generated through the planning process is actually used in making operating decisions. In addition to a questionnaire survey of 400 hospitals on the structural aspects of planning, 78 personal interviews with functional heads and hospital administrators were conducted to analyse the operational part of the study. The major findings are that the possibilities and constraints of planning are remarkably similar to those of industrial corporations. The linkage of planning with operational decisions was found to be lacking. There were wide divergences in views between the functional heads and the hospital administrators in terms of internal and external activities, and also in performance reward relationship. These divergences are thought to be counter-productive in realizing the strategic focus of cost containment. Implications of the findings are also discussed.
 
Article
A rapidly changing business environment has caused numerous firms to adopt some form of environmental assessment as part of their strategic planning process. Extrapolative techniques and trend analysis are useful when forecasting for the short-term and in comparatively stable environments. Futuristic methodologies are appropriate in turbulent environments with long-term planning requirements. The Likelihood of Events Assessment Process (LEAP), a new method of forecasting developed by the author, is explained in detail using examples from a recent study which used top level life insurance executives to predict the relative likelihood of occurrence of planning dates for a set of events in the socio-political environment of business.
 
Article
The perceptions and outlooks of every person are determined, to some extent, by the values he holds. Value orientations are culturally produced and can be expected to vary between groups and also between time periods. Since forecasts and plans are developed by people, the results reflect a value orientation that may not correspond to the value orientation of the target time period.This paper briefly examines what values are and how they operate and outlines several strategies for dealing with values in forecasting and planning. The strategies range from forecasting-of, to control-of, future values and from accommodation-of, to limitation-of, planning activities.
 
Article
This paper examines the recent rise of, and interest in social forecasting. It reviews the various ways in which social forecasts are attempted: particularly through the techniques of modelling which have been taken from, and developed beyond the models used by the basic science and technologies. It then describes the shifts in thinking emerging from different beliefs and attitudes which seem to portend a new ideology in our global society. Finally the paper briefly addresses the crucial issue known as the ‘World Problematique’ and evaluates the role that social forecasting has to play in devising possible solutions, particularly from the viewpoint of industry, trade and commerce.
 
Top-cited authors
David J. Teece
  • University of California, Berkeley
Christian M. Ringle
  • Technische Universität Hamburg
Marko Sarstedt
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Christopher Pollitt
Geert Bouckaert